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An Audience of One

An Olympic ice skater grieves her mother's death

by Greg Asimakoupoulos
February 26, 2010

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An Audience of One

She got the unexpected news.
Her precious mum was dead.
Olympic hopes and wide-eyed dreams
became nightmarish dread.

What should she do? Drop out? Go home?
There's no way she could skate.
To take the ice would be so cold.
It would be a mistake.

Or would that be the greatest gift
a mother could receive
from one she taught to give her all
when prone to quit or grieve?

So skate she did (with broken heart)
before a nervous crowd
who held their breath (with fingers crossed)
for one who cried out loud.

She faced the music all alone
in spite of full house
who saw her face and cheered her on
while quiet as a mouse.

It was Joannie's finest hour
though weak, in-shock and numb.
Her dance on ice was for her mum...
an audience of one.

Can't we relate when life is hard,
when ice we skate is thin?
When we're alone, afraid or lost
and want to cash it in?

In times like that it makes much sense
(although it may seem odd)
to block out those "up in the stands"
and focus just on God.

Just think of it. He sees our need
and knows why we feel done.
So we can "skate" for Him alone...
our audience of One.

* Figure skater Joannie Rochette was born in Montréal, Québec, and raised in Île Dupas. On February 21, 2010, two days before the beginning of the ladies event at the 2010 Winter Olympics, her mother, best friend and most ardent supporter died unexpectedly of a heart attack while in Vancouver to watch her daughter. Despite the loss Joannie continued in her commitment to compete. In the Olympic short program, Rochette recorded a personal best of 71.36, the third highest score of the night. In the finals, she took third place and a bronze medal. Truly an inspirational story.


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Sunday Rhymes & Reasons
Published June 4, 2009

Sunday Rhymes and Reasons is a compilation of inspirational poetry by America's pastor/poet laureate, Greg Asimakoupoulos. In this, his third volume of poetry, Pastor Greg paints word pictures that portray both the struggle and fulfillment that define a life of faith. His repertoire of rhymes celebrate rite-of-passage occasions like birth, baptism, marriage and death as well as the major holidays of the church and culture. It is a volume that illustrates the poet's love of words and of popular culture. The author dips his brush into a paint box of hubris, humor and honesty.

"Gloria and I have been encouraged by word pictures from Greg's pen that have celebrated both our ministry and God's presence in our world."Bill Gaither, Gospel music composer/performer

"Gifted poet Greg Asimakoupoulos is a dear friend of our family. His poetry blesses, comforts, entertains, and provides inspiration for every season of life."Natalie Grant, singer/songwriter/recording artist

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